Guitar god, Deep Purple guru, and Rainbow ruler Ritchie Blackmore turns 70 today. As an axe-wielder and a gentleman, Blackmore is one of rock’s supreme beings—a superhuman giant in that rarified realm alongside Tony Iommi, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, and Jeff Beck, whose influence touches the frets of every hard rock and heavy metal six-string-slinger who will ever follow in his musical wake.
Let’s celebrate Ritchie Blackmore’s 70th with a chronological playlist of seven essential songs that bear his immortal touch.
The 17-year-old Lorde is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the biggest breakout music star of the year 2013. She was named a VH1 You Oughta Know artist in September of this year, her song “Royals” has spent six weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100, and her debut album Pure Heroine will no doubt be showing up on many year-end Top 10 lists. As much vocal and lyrical promise as she has shown, though, we had NO idea that she could wail until we discovered this video of her at age 12 singing a Ronnie James Dio classic (via our friends over at Crushable)!
Today marks the third anniversary of the death of Ronnie James Dio, one of the true greats of heavy metal music. Despite his diminutive stature, he possessed one of rock’s biggest voices and personalities and was loved by nearly everyone who ever came in contact with him, be they bandmates, fellow musicians or fans.